Maestro’s software is designed to fill the needs of hoteliers.
By Alan Dorich, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media
Operating a hotel can be quite complicated, but Maestro is dedicated to equipping its clients with technology to manage it all. “A good product backed by excellent support has made a difference for us,” President Warren Dehan says.
Based in Markham, Ontario, Maestro develops hospitality software for independent and boutique hotels to enhance service, efficiencies and drive revenues. Dehan’s father, Jacob Dehan, started the company in 1978 as a custom software house.
But that was a different time for computers than some may remember. “If you go back to 1978, there were no PCs and if you wanted software for a computer, you couldn’t go to Best Buy,” Warren Dehan explains. “You had to have somebody write it for you.”
Over time, Maestro developed software for multiple industries, including freight forwarding and hospitality. In the late 1970s, a major Canadian hotel chain approached Maestro about developing a system for accounting that also maintained a guest history.
When personal computers became more prominent, Maestro decided to move away from custom software. “Because we had so many hotels using the product, we decided we would develop applications for hotels,” Dehan says.
When the Y2K scare loomed toward the end of the recent millennium, Maestro created its CHS 2000 system. The company also decided to focus on the front office operations of the hotels, yet still included back of house applications such as travel agency payables and account receivables.
“We started what is now known as Maestro,” Dehan says. The company also worked with its customers to find out what was important to them in a system, as well as what they anticipated in terms of technology developments.
“That’s what we used to develop Maestro as it is today,” he says, adding that its systems are used by 750 hotels in 18 countries. “We’re a relatively small player, but we’re adding new customers every month.”
Dehan represents the second generation of his family to manage Maestro. “My two children are in the business now,” he says, noting that his siblings and parents are still involved in the company. “It is very much a multigenerational family business.”
The full integration of hotel operations in Maestro’s products has set the company apart. From its Spa & Activities Management System to its Front Office module, everything “is written with the same technology,” Dehan says. “It’s all tightly integrated.”
Maestro also offers its Housekeeping app, which can be used to track information that is needed to manage property housekeeping and check on room statuses. Additionally, it has the Manager’s Tablet Dashboard, which is a mobile app for managers.
But the company is not resting. “We’re seeing a continual need to enhance our mobile offerings, whether it is to integrate it with the mobile products that are springing up daily, as well as developing our own products to support customer needs,” he says.
Maestro recently was required to meet security needs in order to conform to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which the European Union (EU) will start enforcing this May. It regulates the processing of personal data of EU citizens, wherever that data may reside.
“It affects everyone internationally,” Dehan says. “Hotels must conform to the GDPR or they risk being discovered, and if they’re discovered, they’re fined.”
This April, Maestro will hold its Users Conference, which will bring together more than 100 customers. “We’re very excited about that,” Dehan says. “We’re going to be talking about the new things we’re working on and the changes we’re making to the software.”
The company will publicly announce these changes at the upcoming Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference in Houston this June. “It brings together all the hospitality technology providers and hoteliers,” he says.
He predicts continued growth for Maestro as it continues to improve its products and embraces new technology. “We’re just going to continue to do what we do well and continue to keep our ear to the ground for what our hoteliers want,” he says.